Spending time out in the sun, getting your hands a bit dirty and seeing your hard work come to life — that’s time well spent.
And Independence Village of Zionsville West resident, Randy, would agree that that’s true.
Not only is gardening a passion of his, but he took this hobby one step further and became an official Master Gardener.
Since joining the Independence Village family, Randy has found a community with other gardeners and even started a club to introduce other residents to the benefits of gardening.
Keep reading to learn more about Randy’s gardening story, his journey to starting his own gardening club and his experience at Independence Village.
Mastering His Green Thumb
After his retirement in 2003, Randy turned to gardening for the first time.
Gardening was a cherished hobby of his mother and wife, both who proudly tended to their vegetable gardens over the years. When Randy decided to try it out for himself, he found it a little challenging but very fulfilling.
“It opened up a whole new world, just feeling the sun on my back and being close to nature,” Randy said.
Randy became an official Master Gardener through Purdue University. To become a Master Gardener, you must complete 45 hours of classes, 45 hours of volunteering, with a test at the end. Every year, you must renew your title with an additional 20 hours of training.
Before 2003, Randy’s mastery was reserved to his career in accounting, which meant that he spent most of his time tethered to his desk. When he began gardening, Randy went from fighting his way through the business world to fighting with white-tailed deer and their appetites.
“After being at a desk for 30 years chasing numbers, chasing white-tailed deer was different,” Randy said. “It was God’s work calling me.”
He investigated which plants the deer avoided and he discovered the mint family of plants, Liliaceae. Because of the mint’s strong fragrance, it confuses the deer’s sense of smell and interrupts their eating.
Randy decided that he wanted to share all he’d learned about gardening and wrote his own book, “Stop… and Smell the Mints.”
The book introduces the mint family, shares his family’s all-star plants, discusses his favorite plant to grow, salvia, and provides even more tips for fragrant plants to grow.
Sharing His Passion At Independence Village
One of Randy’s favorite parts of gardening is connecting with other gardeners. His book offered opportunities to connect, and Randy also writes short articles about gardening online to chat with readers more.
When he moved to Independence Village, Randy was excited to share his passion for gardening with his newfound friends and neighbors at the community, too.
Randy talked to leaders at the community and shared his idea to create a gardening club. They loved the idea!
At the first gardening club at Independence Village of Zionsville West, Randy shared slides with photos of his garden from South Carolina. He gave residents a quick glimpse at what gardening is all about.
Now, the gardening club has many members, and they meet frequently to discuss gardening. The group has plans to create their own garden on the Independence Village grounds and promote gardening as a form of therapy for residents.
We asked Randy what one piece of gardening advice he’d give to newcomers.
“Embrace your age,” Randy said. “Get up, get going and get in the garden. Explore something that really interests you.”
If It Makes Your Day, We’ll Make It Happen!
At StoryPoint Group communities across the nation, residents like Randy are who make our community special.
Getting to know residents, sharing in their hobbies and seeing them discover new experiences means so much to us. And we jump at any opportunity to help make residents’ days.
For more information about how you could be a part of the StoryPoint Group family, come and see the community nearest you today.